Becoming a father: Sources of information, birth preference, and experiences of childbirth and postnatal care
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Att bli far- informationskällor, önskemål om förlossningssätt samt upplevelser av förlossning och eftervård (Swedish)
The period of pregnancy and childbirth is an important and sensitive time for men’s upcoming parenthood. Research into fathers’ experiences of childbearing has received less attention compared to maternal experiences. The purpose of this thesis was to study the sources fathers use to obtain information about pregnancy and childbirth, fathers’ preference for the mode of birth of their baby, and fathers’ childbirth experience and their perception of postnatal care quality.In 2007, 1105 expectant fathers were enrolled in the study when their partner had reached the middle of pregnancy. The fathers were followed until one year after the birth of their baby. The fathers were living in the county of Västernorrland in Sweden and their babies were born in one of the three hospitals in the county. Data was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics, and content analysis. An index was created from a combination of fathers’ experiences of postnatal care quality.iiiCommon sources of information about pregnancy and childbirth used by prospective fathers were the Internet, their partners and the midwife. Fathers who were expecting their first baby (OR 1.4; 1.2-1.7), had a high level of education (OR 1.3; 1.2-1.5) and fathers with previous experience of caesarean section (OR 1.3; 1.1-1.6) were the greatest users of the Internet. Of the prospective fathers 71 (6.4%) desired caesarean section for the birth of their baby. Previous negative birth experience (PR 8.6; 2.6-28.3) and the experience of caesarean section (PR 5.7; 2.8-11.9) were factors associated with the wish that the baby would be born by caesarean section. A desire to plan the day of the baby’s birth (PR 6.0; 1.5-24.1) was associated with a preference for caesarean section for the men who were expecting their first baby. Two months after the birth of the baby 604 (74%) of the fathers in this group had had a positive birth experience. A correlation with a less-positive birth experience was with emergency caesarean section (OR 7.5; 4.1-13.6), instrumental vaginal birth (OR 4.2; 2.3-8.0) and if the man was unhappy with the medical care which the partner received (OR; 4.6; 2.7-7.8). Positive experience of healthcare professionals’ knowledge and attitudes was related to a satisfactory birth experience. The deficiencies in the postnatal care were mainly related to deficiencies in the information on the baby’s care and needs, and fathers’ experiences of their partners’ inadequate check-ups and medical care. A year after the birth 488 (79%) of the fathers were satisfied with the overall postnatal care, although they had pointed to deficiencies in the provision. Deficiencies in the attitude of the staff (OR 5.01; 2.80-8.98) and the medical care and check-ups their partner received were associated with fathers’ dissatisfaction with the overall postnatal care (OR 2.13; 1.25-3.62).ivMost fathers in this study had a positive birth experience and were happy with the postnatal care. The thesis highlights, however, opportunities for improvements in intrapartum and postnatal care. Healthcare professionals should be informed regarding the information provided via the web and to discuss the information that expectant fathers receive about pregnancy and childbirth. Prospective fathers should be given the opportunity to discuss their preferences and attitudes to the mode of birth. In addition, professionals should provide supportive information and be present in the delivery room. The information about the newborn baby’s care and needs can be strengthened, both before and after birth.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University , 2012. , 82 p.
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 119
Birth experience, Fatherhood, Mode of birth, Postnatal care, Preference, Social support, Transition, Quality of care
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-15161ISBN: 978-91-86694-91-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-15161DiVA: diva2:479713
2012-02-17, M 108, Holmgatan 10, Sundsvall, 10:30 (Swedish)
Berg, Marie, Professor
Hildingsson, Ingegerd, ProfessorRubertsson, Christina, DocentRådestad, Ingela, Professor
List of papers